Mountain Bike Rider

Mountain Bike Rider January 2020

Published by TI Media Limited mbr is the UK's leading magazine for trail riding, mountain bike enthusiasts. Published since 1997, mbr aims to inspire readers to just get out and ride! with every issue, by providing the very best expert advice about where, what and how to ride. Every edition delivers the ultimate mix of inspirational riding features, with extensive bike and product reviews, along with superb advice and reader involvement - plus free pull-out route guides.

United Kingdom
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12 Issues

in this issue

1 min.
trail of the year

It might surprise you, but this is one of my favourite issues of the year to work on. Yes, we might be sloshing through the middle of one of the wettest winters for ages, but it’s also the time of year when we reveal the winners of our Trail of the Year awards. They were created with the aim of rewarding and recognising the hard work and dedication of those individuals and groups working tirelessly to create new trails and maintain existing trails. This year you’ve voted for two truly worthy winners, in very different surroundings and offering very different experiences, although both share a common objective. Find out who they are on page 46. These awards also have another goal; inspiring more of us to park our bikes and lend…

1 min.
big picture

The Val Veny, just west of Courmayeur in Italy, is one of the most breathtaking places on Earth. This scenery has drawn me back countless times, but the flip side to this magic was always to endure a slow slog up a wide track that climbs painfully to the Col de la Seigne. Yes, the scenery is gold, but the trail is bronze at best. But this day was different. Riding in from the La Thuile valley we dropped into the Val Veny, railing a ribbon of twisting singletrack that spiralled down to the valley floor. Finally I had found the trail that did this valley and its immense backdrop justice. It was a marriage made in heaven. Mondraker just launched its brand new Crafty Carbon e-bike range over in Lousã,…

4 min.
beauty & the beast

Rhayader is a small town in mid-Wales with big plans; it wants to be the UK’s premier mountain biking hub, and it’s just taken one giant stride in that direction by opening Pump Track Wales (PTW). Quite possibly the biggest of its kind in the UK, Pump Track Wales is certainly the first split-line pump track — nearly the first in Europe in fact, although one has just opened in Austria. That’s important because it means you can hold races, attract more people and keep them hooked, according to Rhys Thomas from Pump Track Wales. And huge really is the right word to describe it — this is no dirt-scraped bowl. Instead it’s a tarmacked, all-weather track, built by Olympic and UCI track builders Clark and Kent, covering some 400 square metres…

4 min.
hot stuff

MOST WANTED ROCKRIDER G-EYE 500 FULL HD WIFI SPORT CAMERA £59.99 Last autumn GoPro launched the Hero8 Black. Capable of shooting in 4K at 60fps, and with the best image stabilisation out there, it’s the hottest POV camera you can buy. It also costs nearly £400, which is a hefty chunk. So, in steps the Rockrider G-Eye 500 Full HD WiFi Sport Camera, boasting some impressive numbers… like 60. For £60 you get a camera that shoots in 1080p at 30 frames per second, with a 2in screen on the back, and you can even control it from your phone. It comes with a mount for your helmet and a waterproof housing too, but you will have to supply the memory card. OK, so the Rockrider G-Eye 500 is never going to outperform the…

1 min.
100% speedcraft glasses, £199.99

Eyewear has a tough old job to do when you’re a mountain biker. It has to protect you from mud and dust, but still allow enough ventilation through to be comfortable. It has to remain fog free, even when it’s muggy and warm. And it has to deliver an unobstructed field of view in changing light conditions. That last part is toughest of all, add in a tint to protect your eyes from glare and UV protection and you’ll suffer when the trail dives into the woods or the sun disappears behind a cloud. You could use a clear tint, like pro downhillers or EWS racers, but who wants to squint into the sun on bluebird days? The latest lens from 100% hopes to solve the problem with its photochromic lens, available…

4 min.
winter rides

HELVELLYN 19.02km (11.82miles) Yomping up towards Helvellyn’s summit from Thirlmere with Pat Campbell-Jenner from Identiti Bikes for the Best Of British series reminded me how adaptable — and popular — this mountain is. In summer there’s a multitude of options for scaling it, but in winter you need to be a bit more canny. If the ground is hard and you’re after a challenge, the Birks ascent and descent is for you. If there’s been a fresh dumping of snow then your best bet is the traditional and relatively easy-to-navigate Sticks Pass ascent and descent. If there is snow it’s worth going to take a look at the Lake District Ski Club on the side of Raise with its button tow lift — there’s the potential for racing skiers back down…